Interview: Guest Lecturer Paul Witcover

PaulWitcover2-300x300Author and editor Paul Witcover will be a guest lecturer at this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop. He is the author of five novels, most recently The Watchman of Eternity. His collection of short fiction, Everland and Other Stories, was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award. He has also been a finalist for the World Fantasy and Nebula awards. With Elizabeth Hand, he created and wrote the DC Comic Anima. He was a writer for the serial novel Tremontaine, set in Ellen Kushner’s Riverside universe, for three years. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, and can be found online at

You were the science fiction and fantasy editor for; you edited novels for Del Rey Books, TokyoPop, and Night Shade Books; and you offer editorial services. What has such extensive editing taught you about your writing?

They are very different pursuits. I think my writing informs my editing more than the other way around. That is, as an editor I try to keep in mind the writer on the other end of the manuscript: what they intend, what they have invested. I try to be very sensitive to that. As an editor, I want to be invisible, helping the writer achieve their vision for the book, which is exactly what I want as a writer from my own editors. Continue reading “Interview: Guest Lecturer Paul Witcover”

Interview: Jeanne Kalogridis

Jeanne Dillard Kalogridis will be the writer-in-residence at this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop. Jeanne is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books, including historical novels (The Inquisitor’s Wife, The Devil’s Queen, The Borgia Bride and others), dark fantasy (The Diaries of the Family Dracul trilogy), and novelizations (The Fugitive, the Star Trek movies and others). She’s also written several nonfiction titles. The New York Times called her Family Dracul trilogy “authentically arresting”; Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, called it “terrifying.” USA Today called The Scarlet Contessa “a guilty pleasure of a novel,” while Publishers Weekly called it “[a] vividly rendered historical . . . plenty of intrigue and conspiracy in the lusty plot.” Her historical novels are renowned for their detail and evocativeness; according to Publishers Weekly, “Kalogridis nails the palace intrigue and lush pageantry of the Renaissance.” She specializes in writing about remarkable women who have been ignored or maligned by history.

Born in central Florida, Jeanne earned a B.A. in Russian and an M.A. in Linguistics at the University of South Florida. Afterwards, she escaped to Washington, D.C, where she taught English to foreign students at The American University for eight years. During that time, she was fired for unionizing and used her period of unemployment to write her first novel. Happily she was rehired with full back pay before eventually retiring to write full-time.

She now lives in northern California with an enthusiastic if stinky Labrador named Django. Visit her website ( or blog ( or catch her on Twitter at @jkalogridis. You can also find her on Facebook.

You’ve mentioned on your blog that you miss teaching. Why? What is your favorite part of teaching?

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Interview: Elizabeth Bear

Elizabeth Bear will be a guest lecturer at Odyssey 2011.She was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but in a different year. She’s the author of over a dozen novels and seventy short stories, recipient of two Hugos, the John W. Campbell, and the Sturgeon Award. In her spare time, she enjoys falling off of rocks and cooking needlessly complicated food. She’s previously taught at Clarion West and Viable Paradise.

She lives in Connecticut with a Presumptuous Cat and a Giant Ridiculous Dog.

Looking over your bibliography, your writing success seems to have made a major leap between 2000 and 2003 (one short story published in 1995, one in 1996, two in 2000 and four in 2003, increasing every year thereafter, and various awards won virtually every year beginning in 2005, including two Hugos and a John W. Campbell award). What happened between 2000 and 2003 that took you to the next level?

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